Being in contention for a NBA championship comes at a fair price. Teams have become wary of the luxury tax that looms when teams surpass the $70 million tax line.
After making a flurry of moves to enhance their chance to compete in June, the Los Angeles Clippers are at that point. Here’s the roster as of today along with salaries for the 2013-14 season (most salary information via HoopsWorld):
- Chris Paul – $18,668,431
- Blake Griffin – $16,402,500
- DeAndre Jordan – $10,986,550
- J.J. Redick – $6,300,000
- Jamal Crawford – $5,225,000
- Jared Dudley – $4,250,000
- Matt Barnes – $3,250,000
- Darren Collison – $1,900,000
- Willie Green – $1,339,507
- Dajuan Summers – $947,907 (non-guaranteed)
- Ryan Hollins – $884,293
- Malik Waayns – $788,872 (non-guaranteed)
- Brandon Davis – $490,180 (partial-guaranteed)
Players not included – Reggie Bullock
This leaves the team with an guaranteed amount (estimated) of $71,433,240. Include the salary of Reggie Bullock’s cap-hold ($975.5K according to the CBA) and that number jumps to $72,408,740. While the luxury tax line may be due for an increase when moratorium begins, the 2012-13 line was set at $70.307 million meaning the Clippers will have crossed that line.
Once a team is over the said cap limit, their means of spending will be based on the exceptions given out to NBA teams based on salary entering free agency.
Like every team entering the offseason under the tax apron, “below the point $4 million above the tax line” as Larry Coon describes it, the Clippers were awarded the non-taxpayers mid-level exception. This amount for the 2013-14 season was set at $5.150 million. According to HoopsWorld and other sources the Clippers used their entire mid-level exception to re-sign Matt Barnes and bring in back-up point guard Darren Collison.
Another helpful exception available to teams below the apron is the bi-annual exception (worth $2.016 million this season) which isn’t available to the Los Angeles Clippers after exercising the exception to sign recently retired Grant Hill last season.
It’ll be hard to predict the future on moves Doc Rivers plans on making to fill out the rest of the roster, mainly the back-up power forward position, but based on reports and rumors around the league, the likely player for the job will be either Antwan Jamison who played for the Los Angeles Lakers last season or re-signing Lamar Odom. If one of the two decides to sign for the league minimum, that’ll add around $1.3 million to the cap ($1,352,181 according to Larry Coon’s CBA Faq). That’d push the cap to $73,760,921.
Like I noted toward the beginning, these numbers are a combination of assumptions and Eric Pinus’ numbers from Hoopsworld. While I can’t guarantee you the salaries of those who have only verbally agreed and guaranteed cap space, it’s a definite that this team will be in the luxury tax by the time the season starts. But it may be all worth it come playoff time.
Updated Depth Chart:
|PG||Chris Paul||Darren Collison||Malik Waayns|
|SG||JJ Redick||Jamal Crawford||Willie Green|
|SF||Jared Dudley||Matt Barnes||Reggie Bullock|
|PF||Blake Griffin||Dajuan Summers|
|C||DeAndre Jordan||Ryan Hollins||Brandon Davies|